What is NOT Agile

This video is about WHAT IS NOT AGILE?

Today in corporate firms AGILE is a buzz word
It’s like a fashion in the market
Everyone wants to execute projects in AGILE
And most of them say it SUCKS
Better were those old days
When things were planned well
Detailed enough and everything was documented
Atleast somebody knew what was going on
We had managers and experts
PMOs and Quality Assurance departments
They had the real POWER
It was driven through command but
Things were systematic
Well it wasn’t self organizing
But so what
It was planned well to succeed
Reports and graphs to keep the track of every possible thing
You screw something and you are caught
There was fear of failure
And it was damn needed

And then there came AGILE
Like a bomb for those who were religiously following our old school ways
Its infection was so rapid that
In last 2 decades it has got its grip everywhere
From an individual to teams
From departments to bigger groups
Even they call there is something called TEAL organisation
Which gives utmost autonomy to people
and teams self-organize and are exceeding the expectations
But how many of those are around the world
I think may be HUNDREDS

This is what I call as DISORIENTATION
In a rush to know do and be agile
Most of them are stuck in doing agile
Very few got to reach Being agile
And those exceptional ones who didn’t know about it
And realised that ‘Hey we are out of fashion’ are trying to know agile

In this struggle to actually understand AGILE
I got infected in 2009
Working in a corporate with couple of years experience in ‘traditional’ style
Very new to this fashion
Was asked to attend daily stand up meetings
It was the best tool for micro management
All in the team shows up one time decided
Well our team was called SCRUM team
Scrum is a well known approach in AGILE
One person with fancy designation called ScrumMaster
He used to take our updates
Well that guy was also our project manager
All work was assigned to us in a meeting called Sprint planning meeting
And we all were supposed to talk about what we have done yesterday and plan for today
I remember that filling of waiting for your turn
Nobody took interest into this group status update meeting
And why to know anybody’s update when we work on our assigned things
Damn boring and at times if our so called ScrumMaster was not in a good mood
Then it was a meeting of embarrassment for you
In every 2 weeks we were asked to give demo of what we have done to clients and also to our Project Manager who I got to know later was also having another role called Product Owner
We had pressure all the time
Everybody were so busy finishing their stuff
And if you touched anybody’s line of code or found a bug into another QA’s module
Then deal with the chaos and complains
I think its called Lucifer effect. You do something because everybody else doing that thing
And you don’t use your brains alot as it might be right thats why they all are doing it

Then I got chance to go to Norway
Where I got the shock of my life
It was CULTURE shock
There I had my first learning
In a scrum team, everybody is EQUAL
I mean flat structure
I found my Guru in my boss. Lets call him MR. T
One thing about him
He never quoted any approach as RIGHT AND WRONG
But always asked questions that made me challenge my strict mindset
He helped me in finding answers on my own
And actually made me realise that AGILE is a MINDSET and a CULTURE that we create
I was clear about one thing
That whatever I did before was not AGILE
And not even near to what it means
It was just a rat race of doing agile where no one actually found the essence
You may not get the business if you say you don’t know agile
So everyone were just running
And running very fast trusting that atleast someone knows where are we going
Mr. T convinced me that AGILE was not bad and it changed my mindset
I realised that trust is very important
There should be no fear for failure
Ultimate goal is to create a self organizing team
Who is highly performing and always there to help each other
The work should not be assigned but it should be pulled by individuals
Giving power away is the key but that also needs alignment to shared vision and success
Autonomy gives you chance to experiment and innovate
Failure should not be punished but should be discussed well
Team should be encouraged to fail faster
It is not about the hierarchy or structure
It is about Servant leardership
Respecting every individual and hearing everyone’s view
It is not about getting certified but getting trained
And practice the thought that can help you in bringing the change that you want to see
It is about visualizing the work and keeping things transparent
Making the system fat free but fit enough to sustain
Agile is about HAPPINESS for all
And that needs CHANGE
Stop reacting and start responding
And if you are the victim then understand its not agile what you are doing
Because agile says change me if I am not working for you..

Thats all.